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Redwood (The Familiar #5)
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Volume 5: Redwood > November 7-12, pages 142-287

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message 1: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Scuffling (waxingpress) | 96 comments Post thoughts, discussions, tidbits in this thread or create a new topic under Vol. 5 here as you read along with the Facebook Reading Group.

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message 2: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Scuffling (waxingpress) | 96 comments My Xanther chapter synopsis is incomplete and I don't trust my Isandorno recap to be completely accurate. I'll rely on kind friends in this group, or future re-reads of my own to comment and edit. But here's my 30,000 ft high view of Act II:

7 – Ozgur: Oz has just told Cletious the news about his coming move to the east coast with Elaine. What began as a relationship based on solving the murder of Cletious’s boy, Jasper, Oz now realizes Cletious is not just a case he’s working, but a good friend, too. When it’s time to go, Ozgur calls a cab to pick him up.

8 – Shnorhk: It’s getting to be the end of Shnorhk’s work day and he’s running one more ride to LAX then calling it quits. He thinks about the nature of beauty and remarks how the world stops for beauty, which leads to him thinking vaguely about a friend of his who seemingly hit (and killed) a woman crossing the street. Shnorhk then thinks about how he’s finally going to play music again for the first time since losing his daughter, Arshlous—it’s still unclear how long it’s been. As his thoughts return to what defines beauty, Jingjing tries to flag down Shnorhk’s cab to take him to the Ibrahims’ house. Thinking JJ is a crazed drug addict, Shnorhk keeps driving but stops when he sees a beautiful woman who is also aged, throwing his definitions of beauty into new dimensions. It’s Tian Li and she and JJ get in the car to go get the cat.

9 – Anwar: Astair and Xanther have returned home with the cat. Anwar and Astair get into a fight about the cat, whether it should have been brought home or put down when Anwar reveals the details of his earlier call with JJ. He says he gave the family’s address to JJ because he knew so much detail about the cat that it was clearly his. Astair is upset suggesting there is a statute of limitations on claiming your lost animal—it has been more than four months. Anwar relents that she’s correct, but tries to make up for it by saying he gave them the wrong address for a house down the street, though Astair asserts that that particular neighbor knows about the cat and will easily put two and two together for JJ.

Anwar then goes to tell Xanther about what’s happening—people are on the way. She’s saddened but seems to be aware that “they’re” coming (Anwar only knows about JJ, not Tian Li). The fact that the cat is nearly dead somehow helps allay her sadness about the cat’s previous owners coming to the house, in fact, seems to comfort her—more who loved the animal can come together to mourn its loss. Xanther then confides in Anwar that she has a deep urge to just pick up the cat and run, as if it could do something to help the poor animal survive. Anwar tells her this is a natural urge and when she asks him what he thinks Dov would have done, Anwar says, “Dov believed in fighting.” Xanther seems to understand and says “That’s the most painful part. Because, what’s left?”

10 – Xanther: Xanther is focused on the tight feeling of her braces and has an urge to rip them off. Anwar is sharing words with Xanther that his father shared with him, but she’s too distracted. When he notices, he asks what’s wrong and she claims she’s just hungry. Once he’s gone, Xanther seems to think food can’t satiate the hunger she’s feeling, only going into the forest can.

11 – Isandorno: Isandorno, on The Mayor’s orders, heads out to investigate what happened with the hunters and the four crates, and to ensure their tracks are covered to avoid outside scrutiny. The people there tell Isandorno that the bodies of the three men were burned and ashes scattered in a few different places. However, there’s a little girl who died and she was buried. At first it seems Isandorno will force the people there to dig up the body and burn it too, but after they unearth the child, he changes his mind. When leaving, Maria gives Isandorno a present: a cat bust. He says he cannot keep the totem.

12 – Astair: In a ploy to prevent JJ & Tian Li from finding the Ibrahims, Astair goes down the street to their neighbors whose address Anwar gave out. There, she’s treated to a gourmet dish by one of the men. Astair stalls telling them about the cat and runs down a list of all the wild things that have happened since the cat’s arrival, denying the significance of it to herself. Ultimately, she asks the men if they will lie to JJ (and Tian Li, though, Astair isn’t aware of her) about the mix up and not send them over to the right house. They grant Astair that favor. Feeling good, Astair leaves their house to see an Independence Taxi parked outside her house and two figures walking in the door. She runs to catch up and when she does, Tian Li opens the door—Astair is astonished by how beautiful Tian Li is, and how ancient-looking—and says something to Astair in Mandarin.

Entre’act II: Shades of blue and yellow as a star glimmers amidst a super nova

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